Fire Prevention Bureau
The McHenry Township Fire Protection District takes pride in educating and preventing fires within the Fire Protection District. The Fire Prevention Bureau is currently led by Director Brent Innes and Fire Inspectors Tim Butler, Rudy Rivera and Chris Gumm. The MTFPD Fire Prevention Bureau stays active within the community by providing a host of programs to promote fire awareness and safety.
The Fire Prevention Bureau's basic responsibilities include:
- Reviewing Building Plans for New Construction & Performing Acceptance Tests for New Fire Protection Equipment
- Investigating Cause and Origin of Suspicious & Accidental Fires
- Fire Inspections
- Junior Fire Setter Program
- Public Education & Community Activities
Plan Reviews & Code Compliance
One of the primary functions of the Fire Prevention Bureau is to review building plans for new construction and/or renovations as it relates to commercial sprinkler systems and fire alarm systems. The Building Official and Director of the Fire Prevention Bureau also perform on-site inspections, as well as witness all related tests.
In addition, the Fire Prevention Bureau exists to witness compliance of fire prevention codes. The Bureau currently works in conjunction with the City of McHenry, Neighboring Villages and McHenry County to ensure code compliance of the fire protection systems from reviewing the prints to scheduling the final inspection to ensure a safe occupancy. All new construction is reviewed by certified Plans Examiner and recommendations are submitted to the Authority Having Jurisdiction (AHJ).
All Target Hazards & most other occupancy’s in MTFPD are Pre-Planned for quicker response to emergencies. Items reviewed are:
- Size and type of structure
- Type of operation
- Location of utilities
- Any hazards
- Contents of operation, such as chemicals, explosives or employees
- If any special equipment may be needed for an emergency
More Information/Scheduling Inspections
The Fire Prevention Bureau Director may be contacted at (815) 669-5378, Monday through Friday, from 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM.
The Fire Prevention Bureau is responsible for inspecting commercial, industrial, Health Care Facilities, Day cares and Schools occupancies for compliance with the State of Illinois, City of McHenry & surrounding Villages fire prevention codes within the McHenry Township Fire Protection District. Each occupancy is formally inspected approximately once a year. Occupancies of a higher risk potential or “Target Hazards” are inspected once a year. All new commercial/industrial/multifamily occupancies are inspected, prior to opening for business. Through its Fire Prevention Bureau, the District provides a balanced approach to fire protection through – Education, Planning, Compliance Inspections, Early Warning & Early Suppression.
This is accomplished with these key strategies:
- Educate the public on fire safety practices
- Sound building Plan Reviews to assure compliance with approved codes
- Life Safety Inspections to assure compliance with applicable codes and standards
- Thorough fire cause & origin investigations to implement fire prevention action plans
The Fire Prevention Bureau is responsible for reviewing and monitoring various life safety and fire detection/suppression related items associated with all current & new construction.
These include, but are not limited to:
- Emergency lighting
- Access & exiting requirements
- Fire alarm systems
- Electrical issues
- Fire Department access to the site
- Fire sprinkler systems
- Chemical storage and handling
- Restaurant hood & duct suppression systems
- Explosion venting systems
Under a special agreement with the State Fire Marshal & the local school districts (District 12, District 15, District 156 and several Non-Public Schools), each school within the community is inspected bi-annually. All licensed day cares and pre-schools are also inspected annually. Routine fire drills are monitored by Fire Department personnel to ensure that proper evacuation techniques are utilized by all occupants.
Goal of Fire Investigations
Fire investigations are conducted for every confirmed fire that occurs in the MTFPD in accordance with Illinois State Statutes. The fire investigation team consists of 9 members who are trained and certified through the Office of the State Fire Marshal. It is the goal of the fire investigation team to determine the origin and cause of each fire.
These members are responsible for:
- Determining the point of origin
- Determining the probable cause of the fire
- Working closely with the City of McHenry Police and the McHenry County Sheriff Departments in seeking conviction of responsible parties in criminally caused fires.
- Assisting property owners in dealing with their insurance companies in post-fire claim resolution
Due to the destructive nature of fire it is sometimes not possible to determine the cause of a fire. Additional resources to assist the fire investigation team are available from the City of McHenry, Office of the State Fire Marshal and the Bureau of Alcohol Tobacco and Firearms.
For additional information regarding fire investigations please contact the Fire Prevention Bureau at 815-669-5378.
To request a copy of a fire investigation report a Freedom of Information Report must be submitted.
Juvenile Fire Setter Program
The Fire Prevention Bureau offers a program to help identify children that are irresistibly attracted to fires. In the event of a noticeable problem at home or elsewhere, a fire department official will interview the child and help their parents seek the appropriate counseling for their child at an early age to prevent future fire problems.
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